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This space used to have a long list of the various jobs I’ve done, an idea borrowed (stolen) from Douglas Adams, who often had a list of all the wacky things he’d done on the back of his books, at least in the early days. I thought that was funny, and like Douglas I’ve worked a ton of wacky jobs. Now, though, I’m finished with identifying myself by the work I’ve done for others. So here’s who I am at the moment of writing (June 2019), in no particular order.
I’m a husband and father. I’m married to Owen, and father to Bernie and John.
I’m a deliverer of monologues and conductor of interviews. You can hear me talk and ask about what makes life worth living on my podcast A Brief Chat with Jason Crane.
I’m a poet. You can read my work here in the Poems & Essays section. I’ve got one book out and another on the way later this year, both from FootHills Publishing.
I’m a chronicler of the world of improvised music. I’ve been interviewing improvising musicians for nearly 20 years. For the past 12 of those years, I’ve been doing it on my podcast The Jazz Session. (Yes, I have two podcasts. Hey, it’s the 21st century.) I encourage you to check it out and to support it with your dollars if it’s something you find valuable.
I’m a Buddhist. I started practicing Buddhism at about the same time I started interviewing improvising musicians. I’m primarily in the Sōtō Zen tradition, but I sometimes borrow from other places, too. I meditate every day and try my best to follow the precepts, with varying levels of success.
I’m an anarchist. I believe that small intentional communities of mutual aid are the only rational way forward. I don’t want there to be governments, borders, prisons, banks, a financial system, armies, cops, and all the other things that go along with other people telling us how to live. Utah Phillips described my beliefs on this topic better than I can: “If you and I can agree to do our share of the work in this world; if you and I can agree to take only what we need and put back what we can; if you and I can agree to care for the afflicted; if you and I can agree not to hurt anybody; if you and I can agree in some small way to get the work of the world done without the boss and the state, that’s anarchism.”
I’m a musician. I used to do that for my living. Nowadays I do it when I can, mostly in a trio called Elorza. We play music from Venezuela and other Spanish-speaking places. I play saxophone and cajón.
I’m a tarot reader. I use the cards in an intuitive way as a means of breaking myself and others out of ingrained thought patterns. Contact me if you’d like to learn more.
I am all these things and many others, too. And I’m constantly changing.
I was born in Lenox, Massachusetts, in 1973 and I’ve moved more than three dozen times since then. I’ve lived in Massachusetts, New York (state and city), New Hampshire, Arizona, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Alabama, Japan (twice), and I now, much to my chagrin, live in Pennsylvania. I’ll be returning to Lenox at the earliest opportunity.
STUFF I WROTE THAT GOT PRINTED AND WHATNOT
- Unexpected Sunlight (FootHills Publishing, 2010)
- This Gorgeous Life (FootHills Publishing, coming in late 2019)
Poems in other publications
- Blue Collar Review: “Lillian Dupree And The Ballad Of Frenchman Street” (Winter-Spring
- qarrtsiluni: “Eating Godzilla” (“New Classics” issue)
- Meat For Tea: “North Greenbush To Albany” and “Origins” (Vol.2: Mint)
- State of Emergency: Chicago Poets Address The Gulf Crisis: “deepwater horizon” (July 15, 2010)
- Poets For Living Waters: “Last Piece Of Ice Under The Sky” and “deepwater horizon” (August 18, 2010)
- Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac: “this two-wheeled life” (Issue 43-100, October 2010)
- “Ain’t Gonna Play Slum City” (The Auburn Plainsman, 29 March 2013)
STUFF OTHER PEOPLE WROTE ABOUT ME FOR WHATEVER REASON
- New Life Of The Parties (19 Sep 2001)
- Green Party Gets Green Light In Ontario County (20 May 2002)
- Smokin’ Signal: WGMC Comes of Age (21 Aug 2002)
- Greens Protest War (15 Oct 2002)
- Making (Air) Waves (10 Sep 2003)
- Labor Council Endorses Crane (15 Oct 2003)
- Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned (15 Oct 2003)
- Great Expectations: Is Change In The Works For City Council? (22 October 2003)
- Fighting For Rochester’s Future: D&C Endorsements (23 Oct 2003)
- Jazz Radio Station Seeks Greater Groove (7 Jan 2004)
- Power Surge (7 Jan 2004)
- Greece (NY) Jazz Station Hitting The High Notes (28 Jul 2004)
- Best of Rochester 2004: Best Jazz Radio Station (10 Nov 2004)
- New Jazz Lineup (24 Nov 2004)
- On The Air (16 March 2005)
- Signs Of The Times (30 July 2006)
- Music, Activism & All That Jazz: Page 1 / Page 2 (29 April 2007)
- Whom to follow on Twitter? Start with 25 of CultureMonster’s favorites (LA Times) (July 2011)
- “Crashing On Couches To Talk To Musicians” (NPR’s A Blog Supreme) (21 May 2012)
- Q&A: Jason Crane Takes The Jazz Session On the Road With The “Jazz Or Bust” Tour (The Village Voice, NYC) (30 May 2012)
- Voices Profile: Interview With Jason Crane (Voices Of Central PA, Feb 2015)
- Life Interests Take Jason Crane To Ends Of Creation (Centre Daily Times, 11 April 2015)